One of the most stressful parts of competing can be making weight. Especially as you walk around at the limit of your division weight naturally, and have that last couple of kilo’s to drop down for the competition.
As a white belt I fought at light weight, under 64kg. I’m only 5’2” and I was generally the lower end of the division. This was until I heard about the Paleo diet and cut out all complex carbohydrates, bread and processed food. Not only did I drop with weight easy, I felt better in training and never bloated.
I’m not perfect though, I have struggled for some competitions, so I’ve had to water load. Drink 5 litres of water 2 days before the tournament, then 4 litres the day before and stopping at 7pm the night before. This is a last resort though as I can’t imagine it can be very good for our bodies.
A natural drop feels better and it’s a lot less stressful too.
Leading up to the IBJJF British Nationals, my weight was slowly dropping, but I upped my cardio with sprints, and even beating my current record for time. During fight week, I do tend to drink a lot more water as it gives me energy. My diet is incredibly clean. I had even popped to Ibiza for a 3 day relaxing beach holiday the week before the competition. It probably wasn’t the wisest thing to do, but I felt so much better for it afterwards.
We arrived at Crystal Palace, I changed, weighted myself in the bull pen on the test scales (perfectly 200g under) and warmed up as usual. My one and only opponent in Master 1 female feather weight came up to me and told me that she was over weight by 300g. I advised her that was no problem and with a good warm up she could drop that weight easy. She didn’t warm up or make any effort at all. My frustration was brewing but there was nothing that I could do about it. My only thoughts were, she doesn’t want to fight…..
We were called to weigh in, and there it was, the scales said that she was 200g over.
As a purple belt competitor, you are at the level where you understand the rules, and know that not only you, but your opponent will lose out on £75 entry fee for the competition once you have officially been disqualified.
Purple belt is classed as an elite level and not making weight is a poor excuse. This could happen at any level, more so at white or blue, but not at purple belt and above.
A brown belt friend was competing at the European championships last year and her Gi did not pass the check. She had to go and change it within 5 minutes, but the new Gi was heavier, therefore it made her 100g over. This is an exception, but also a risk too.
My advice to those dropping weight: Aim for 500g less than what you need to be. This is the safe zone. I fight at 58.5kg, my Gi and belt weighs 1.7kg so I aim to be 56kg without my Gi. Just in case.
All was not lost on the day and I got to fight an awesome 79kg lady. I lost 6-2, but the match was great and I’m always pleased to test my training in competition.
If you want to compete at a high level in any combat sport, one of the main components other than the training, is getting your diet and nutrition right and making weight for the fight.